Culturally and Linguistically Diverse populations


Suicide in migrant and refugee communities

 This page has been updated to reflect the most up to date information.

IMPORTANT:
The following data may impact vulnerable people. For information about Crisis Support services, or adding help-seeking information when reporting on suicide in the media, see the 'Promote help-seeking information' and 'Adding helplines' section of the Mindframe website.


  • Persons born outside of Australia accounted for 25.1% of all nationally recorded suicide deaths between 2001 and 2010, a figure that closely resembles the estimated 27% of all persons born overseas who are resident in Australia1.
  • Rates are generally higher among people born in countries that have higher suicide rates (notably, English-speaking countries, countries from western, northern and eastern Europe), and lower in immigrant groups from countries with lower suicide rates (including southern Europe, the Middle East and Asia)2, 3.
  • Between 2004 and 2008, the age-standardised suicide rates in Australia were highest in those born in New Zealand (13.5 per 100,000)4.
  • In Australia, the age-standardised rate for those born in the UK (11.5 per 100,000), Europe excluding UK (9.7 per 100,000), and North America (11.1 per 100,000) were similar to the suicide rate of those born in Australia (11.6 per 100,000)5.
  • The age-standardised suicide rate of those born in Australia is almost double that of migrants from Asia (5.3 per 100,000) and Africa and the Middle East (5.9 per 100,000) who live in Australia6.

References

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2012). Suicides, Australia, 2010. Catalogue No. 3309.0. Canberra, ACT: Australian Bureau of Statistics.

[2] McDonald, B., & Steel, S. (1997). Immigrants and mental health: An epidemiological analysis. Sydney, NSW: Transcultural Mental Health Centre.

[3] Morrell, S., Taylor, R., Slaytor, E., & Ford, P. (1999). Urban and rural suicide differentials in migrants and the Australian-born, New South Wales, Australia 1985-1994. Social Science and Medicine, 49, 81-91.

[4] Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2012). Op. Cit.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.